Top 7 Cotswold walks near Stroud

From arresting walks along the Cotswold Way to charming woodland walks and serene canal walks, the Cotswolds cater for every mood and fancy. If you’re looking for a pub walk, a Sunday stroll or an escape to the beautiful countryside, I’ve compiled the 7 best Cotswold walks near Stroud.

The Cotswolds offer many trails across enchanting valleys, over rolling hills and through picturesque villages. From the Painswick Beacon viewpoint walk to the Cotswold Way walk across Selsley Common, all suggested walks will let you explore the enchanting scenery of the Cotswolds (and afterwards enjoy well-deserved refreshments at the pub).

Contents:
1. Viewpoint walk: Painswick Beacon & Painswick Valley
2. Country walk: Bisley-with-Lypiatt
3. Cotswold Way walk: Coaley Peak & Selsley Common
4. Woodland walk: Woodchester Park
5. Viewpoint walk: Uley to Uley Bury & Cam Long Down
6. Canal walk: Wysis Way in Sapperton
7. Valley walk: Tyley Bottom & Tor Hill in Wotton-under-Edge

1. Viewpoint walk: Painswick Beacon & Painswick Valley

Location: Painswick, Gloucestershire

Walk difficulty: Easy

Time: 1 ½ to 2 hours

Distance: 4 miles (9.6 km)

Recommended pub: The Oak in Painswick

Cotswold rolling hills in the Painswick Valley
The valley of Painswick

Located north of Stroud, this Cotswold walk explores the picturesque village of Painswick, the wild common of Painswick Beacon and the charming Painswick Valley. During this circular walk, you’ll enjoy incredible views of the Cotswold Hills, the Severn Vale, the Forest of Dean and the Brecon Beacons.

Leading you along country paths, across lush fields and enchanting valleys, and through lush woodland, the Painswick, Painswick Beacon & Painswick Valley walk follows parts of both the Cotswold Way and the Wysis Way. If you’re after a longer walk, you can combine this walk with the Painswick Beacon, Coopers Hill & Painswick Valley walk and wander through lush woodland to the stunning viewpoint of Coopers Hill.

Find the Painswick, Painswick Beacon & Painswick Valley walk guide.

Cotswold street in Painswick
Hale Lane in Painswick

How to get to Painswick

Painswick is a 10-minute drive from Stroud. You can park in the Stamages Lane car park (GL6 6UZ – free for the day at the time of writing). You can also visit Painswick by taking the 66 bus from Stroud (10 minutes).

Find the itinerary and timetable for the 66 bus on stagecoachbus.com.

2. Country walk: Bisley-with-Lypiatt

Location: Bisley, Gloucestershire

Walk difficulty: Challenging

Time: 3 to 3 ½ 3 hours

Distance: 6 miles (9.7 km)

Recommended pub: The Bear Inn in Bisley

Hidden Cotswold valleys on the Bisley-with-Lypiatt walk
Hidden Cotswold valley near Bisley

From hidden valleys to bountiful hills, lush woods and breathtaking views, the Bisley-with-Lypiatt walk features the best of the Cotswolds. This circular walk is one of the best walks near Stroud and offers the perfect country escape to the rolling Cotswold hills. Starting at the quaint village of Bisley, this country walk also lets you discover the town’s picturesque Cotswold cottages.

This Bisley-with-Lypiatt walk is rich and varied, leading you across enchanting valleys and verdant fields, through lush woods and along charming country lanes. Throughout this circular walk, you’ll enjoy striking views of the Cotswold Hills and the Bristol Channel. Back in Bisley, you can indulge in well-deserved refreshments at The Bear Inn.

Find the Bisley-with-Lypiatt walk guide.

Country path and a quaint gate in Bisley
Country path in Bisley

How to get to Bisley

You can visit Bisley by car or by bus. Count 10 minutes to drive there from Stroud. You can park in the streets of Bisley, near the Bear Inn (GL6 7BD). You can also take the 8B bus from Stroud (20 minutes). Please note that there are limited services on the 8B bus.

3. Cotswold Way walk: Coaley Peak & Selsley Common

Location: Nympsfield & Selsley, Gloucestershire

Walk difficulty: Intermediate

Time: 3 to 3 ½ hours

Distance: 7 miles (11.2 km)

Recommended pub: The Bell Inn in Selsley (15-minute walk from Selsley Common)

A bench with views of the Cotswold Hills and Stroud on Selsley Common
A bench with a view in Selsley Common

The section of the Cotswold Way trail I would recommend exploring near Stroud is from Coaley Peak to Selsley Common. This section offers the best the Cotswold Way has to offer: from stunning viewpoints to peaceful woodland and wild landscapes. You can start this Cotswold walk either at Coaley Peak or Selsley Common. If you wish, you can enjoy a shorter version of this walk and only explore Stanley and Pen Woods or Selsley Common.

Located south of Stroud, the Coaley Peak & Selsley Common walk first explores the Coaley Peak escarpment and its glorious views of the Cotswold hills, the Severn Vale, the Forest of Dean, the Brecon Beacons and Wales. This Cotswold Way walk then escapes to a peaceful woodland and descends to the bottom of an enchanting valley, offering further striking scenery. This country walk then climbs back up to the Cotswold escarpment and the wild landscape of Selsley Common.

Find the Coaley Peak to Selsley Common walk guide.

Breathtaking views of the Cotswold hills and Severn Valley from Coaley Peak
Views from Coaley Peak

How to get to Coaley Peak and Selsley Common

You can travel to Coaley Peak and Selsley Common by car or by bus. Count 10 minutes to drive there from Stroud. You can park in the Coaley Peak car park (GL10 3TP – free of charge at the time of writing) or a Selsley Common lay-by (GL5 5LL – free of charge at the time of writing). You can also visit Coaley Peak by taking the 65 bus from Stroud to Nympsfield and walk from Nympsfield to Coaley Peak (30 minutes in total). Alternatively, you can take the 66 bus from Stroud to Selsley (5 minutes).

Find the itineraries and timetables for the 65 and 66 buses on stagecoachbus.com. Please note that there are limited services on the 65 bus.

4. Woodland walk: Woodchester Park

Location: Woodchester Park, Nympsfield, Gloucestershire

Walk difficulty: Easy

Time: 1 to 3 hours depending on the walk trail

Distance: 2 to 7 miles depending on the walk trail

Recommended pub: Rose & Crown in Nympsfield (15-minute walk from Woodchester Park)

Boathouse, lake and woods in Woodchester Park near Stroud
The Boathouse in Woodchester Park

Nested in a wooded Cotswold valley, Woodchester Park offers an enchanting woodland walk near Stroud. The 18th and 19th century landscape park features a majestic but unfinished Victorian mansion, five man-made lakes, a boathouse and lush woods. You can easily imagine the 18th century park as it was back then, with its horse-drawn carriages, leisurely walks, lavish picnics and rowing boat trips.

Woodchester Park boasts many paths through its woodland and pastures, and along its lakes. Walking along the serene paths, you can escape the world and all your worries. You can choose between the different circular walks marked out by the National Trust, ranging from 1 to 3 hours long and 2 to 7 miles long. All you need to do is follow the signposts. Most of the paths are paved, but the trails can get muddy in wet weather. Find out more about Woodchester Park on nationaltrust.org.uk.

Woodchester Mansion nested in Woodchester Park near Stroud
Woochester Mansion in Woodchester Park

How to get to Woodchester Park

You can travel to Woodchester by car or by bus. Count 15 minutes to drive there from Stroud. You can park in the Woodchester Park pay and display car park (GL10 3TS). You can also visit Woodchester Park by taking the 65 bus from Stroud to Nympsfield and walk from Nympsfield to Woodchester Park (30 minutes in total). The entrance to the park is free, but if you drive there, you need to pay for the car park.

Find the itinerary and timetable for the 65 bus on stagecoachbus.com. Please note that there are limited services on the 65 bus.

5. Viewpoint walk: Uley to Uley Bury & Cam Long Down

Location: Uley, Gloucestershire

Walk difficulty: Intermediate

Time: 1 to 1 ½ hours or 2 ½ to 3 hours depending on the walk trail

Distance: 3 miles (4.8 km) or 5 miles (8 km) depending on the walk trail

Recommended pub: The Old Crown Inn in Uley

Views of Uley village nested in Cotswold valley
The village of Uley

Another top walk near Stroud is the Uley to Uley Bury and Cam Long Down walk. Starting at the quaint village of Uley, this Cotswold walk offers serene country paths, lush woodland and spectacular scenery. Throughout this circular walk, you can enjoy breathtaking views of Uley, Dursley, the surrounding valleys, the Cotswold escarpment, the Severn Vale, the Bristol Channel and South Wales.

The short version of this Cotswold walk takes you from the village of Uley to the hill fort of Uley Bury. The longer version also explores the hills of Cam Long Down and Cam Peak. This circular walk includes very steep ascents and descents, and follows part of the Cotswold Way Circular. You can even finish this walk in Uley’s pub, The Old Crown, for well-deserved refreshments.

Find the Uley, Uley Bury and Cam Long Down walk guide.

Views of the Cotswold escarpment from Uley Bury
Views from Uley Bury

How to get to Uley

You can travel to Uley by car or by bus. Count 15 minutes to drive there from Stroud. You can park along The Street in Uley (GL11 5SL). You can also visit Uley by taking the 65 bus from Stroud (20 minutes).

Find the itinerary and timetable for the 65 bus on stagecoachbus.com. Please note that there are limited services on the 65 bus.

6. Canal walk: Wysis Way in Sapperton

Location: Sapperton, Gloucestershire

Walk difficulty: Easy

Time: 1 ½ to 2 hours

Distance: 4.4 miles (7 km)

Recommended pub: The Bell in Sapperton

The Wysis Way is a 52-mile-long national trail linking the Forest of Dean to the Cotswolds. The Wysis Way runs north of Stroud into the Chalford Valley. The trail section I would recommend exploring near Stroud is between Sapperton and Frampton Mansell. This section offers a delightful canal walk.

Forest path along the Wysis Way near Stroud
The Wysis Way through Siccaridge Wood

From Sapperton to Frampton Mansell, the Wysis Way follows the old Thames and Severn Canal, now overgrown with water plants. The path leads you along the canal banks and through Siccaridge Wood. Surrounded by serene woodland and catching quick glimpses of green fields, this Cotswold walk offers a true escape to enchanting woods.

Wysis Way walk itinerary

This section of the Wysis Way trail starts on Church Lane in Sapperton. Follow the Wysis Way sign down steps and take the small lane to the left of the school. The path will lead you down a field into the woods and along the canal. From there, just follow the signposts and the path. Once you reach the road bridge in Frampton Mansell, walk back to Sapperton the way you came.

Walking along the Wysis Way from Sapperton to Frampton Mansell near Stroud
The Wysis Way in Sapperton

On the way back, when you reach the Daneway Inn pub, don’t follow the sign for the Wysis Way and cross the small bridge over the river, but continue straight ahead to the back of the pub car park where the trail continues. The path is mostly paved, but some part of the trail can get muddy in wet weather.

How to get to Sapperton

You can visit Sapperton by car or by bus. Count 15 minutes to drive there from Stroud. You can park in the streets of Sapperton, along Church Lane (GL7 6LQ). You can also take the 54 or 54A bus from Stroud (25 minutes). Please note that there are limited services on the 54 and 54A buses.

7. Valley walk: Tyley Bottom & Tor Hill in Wotton-under-Edge

Location: Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire

Walk difficulty: Intermediate

Time: 3 to 3 ½ hours

Distance: 6.5 miles (10.5 km)

Recommended pub: The Star Inn in Wotton-under-Edge

The lush cotswold valley of Tyley Bottom in Wotton-under-Edge
The valley of Tyley Bottom

A tranquil walk in and around Wotton-under-Edge, this Cotswold walk explores the charming valley of Tyley Bottom and the breathtaking Tor Hill. This combined valley and hill walk offers fabulous views of Wotton-under-Edge, Tyley Bottom, the Frome Valley, the Cotswold escarpment, the Bristol Channel and South Wales.

This Cotswold walk near Stroud starts at the quaint market town of Wotton-under-Edge and first takes you along delightful country lanes and woodland paths to the valley of Tyley Bottom. This circular walk then leads you along quiet country roads and tracks to the top of Tor Hill. From there, you cross verdant fields back to Wotton-under-Edge.

Find the Tyley Bottom to Tor Hill in Wotton-under-Edge walk guide.

Cotswold views from Tor Hill in Wotton-under-Edge
Views from Tor Hill

How to get to Wotton-under-Edge

Wotton-under-Edge is a 25-minute drive from Stroud. You can park in the Potters Pond car park (GL12 7HF – free for the day at the time of writing). You can also visit Wotton-under-Edge by taking the 40 bus from Stroud (40 minutes). Please note that there are limited services on the 40 bus.

Explore more walks in the Cotswolds

The Cotswolds countryside features countless walks across enchanting valleys, over rolling hills and through picturesque villages. From Bath to Broadway and Malmesbury, escape to beautiful country scenery with the Cotswold walk guides.

Views of top Bath landmarks on the Bath Skyline walk
The Bath Skyline walk

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